Bookworm: 'Swirling' might lead to romance

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You stayed home last Saturday night.

The Saturday before, you went club-hopping with your girls. And the Saturday before that, you saw a movie with your mom.

It’s not that you don’t want to date. No, the truth is that statistics don’t lie: there’s a shortage of black men, and because you’re holding out for one, you stay home a lot.

What else can you do?

Authors Christelyn D. Karazin and Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn say you have plenty of options. There are lots of men out there; you just need to widen your search. In the new book Swirling: How to Date, Mate, and Relate Mixing Race, Culture, and Creed, they explain.

The headlines almost scare you to death: 42 percent of black women will never marry. Seventy percent of black women are single. Some might choose to bear a child anyhow, while others might share a man with one or more women, just to avoid being alone.

But Karazin and Littlejohn say there’s one option that shouldn’t be so controversial: “swirling,” or dating outside your race.

If you look beyond skin, they say, you’ll immediately increase the pool of single men. There are millions of unattached white, Buddhist, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim and American Indian men in this world. The character of a man truly is more important than his color.

Yes, interracial marriage is truly risky. You’ll have some issues to deal with. Race still matters in this country – and some of the arguments come from the black community. But for decades, black men have hooked up with white women and nobody thinks much about it. Why should it be different for black women?

Meet more men, accept that you are not a “race traitor” if you fall in love with someone who’s not black. Find a “rainbeau” and understand that it’s really OK to have a preference. Look at your Dream Man List and evaluate your requirements. Throw out stereotypes and have a conversation with your man about cultural and personal differences. Have a plan in place for dealing with families and friends who question your choice.

And remember: “Color only goes skin deep. Character is as deep as the soul.”

Right now, you might be arguing with authors Karazin and Littlejohn and have a zillion reasons why you think they’re wrong.

But there’s no arguing with success or statistics, both of which are plentiful in Swirling. Karazin and Littlejohn offer abundant permission to “date out,” answers to possible haters, thoughts that might not have come to the forefront yet, things to be aware of, and success stories.

No matter which side of the dating-and-mating fence you sit on, I think this provocative book will give you lots to think about – particularly if you’re tired of a wide-open Saturday night calendar. For you especially, Swirling is a book to make a date with.


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